Satu Palva group investigates the functional relevance of neuronal dynamics and large-scale neuronal interactions in human cognition.
In humans, attention, working memory, and consciousness are fundamental cognitive functions, which are serial, introspectively coherent, and have a limited capacity of a few objects. Neuronal processing underlying these cognitive functions is, however, distributed across the brain and over time. The central goal of our group is to understand how local neuronal oscillations, their large-scale interactions and dynamics are related to fundamental cognitive functions. Current theories posit that slow oscillations from delta (1-4 Hz) to alpha (8-14 Hz) bands are related to attentional, executive and control functions, while faster gamma (30+ Hz) band synchronization is related to bottom-up processing of sensory information. We aim to test this framework at the level of large-scale neuronal interactions. Our central hypothesis is that cross-frequency interactions among slow and fast oscillations allow the integration and coordination of neuronal processing across cortical hierarchy.
Both oscillations and behavior also fluctuate in a scale-free manner over several seconds to minutes. This behavior is indicative of critical neuronal dynamics that is thought to enable flexible reconfiguration of behavioral performance and neuronal processing. Our aim is to obtain evidence for this framework and test whether neuronal scaling laws behavior predict scaling laws in behavioral performance.
Many brain diseases are associated with cognitive deficits. We aim to investigate whether aberrant neuronal dynamics and connectivity predict cognitive deficits in neurodevelopmental diseases such as in ADHD and depression.
Our central approaches are to record neuronal activity from human subjects by magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) and from epileptic patients with intracranial EEG (iEEG). We then use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (TACS) to test the causal role of identified neuronal activities and interactions in coordinating behavioral performance.
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He joined as a doctoral student in 2015 and investigating the neural correlates and mechanisms of visual perception and visual working memory using EEG and MEG.
Contact: All group members can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.